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Criminal Justice News This Week (week of 2-8-2021)

Criminal Justice News This Week (week of 2-08-21)


Still in Its Infancy, the Due Process Protections Act Begins To Show Promise "On Oct. 21, 2020, President Trump signed the Due Process Protections Act. While the act does not contain the sweeping substantive changes to 'Brady' disclosures that were proposed in the FDEA, it represents an important step toward ensuring that the accused has access to exculpatory evidence that could prove their innocence."


'A Sledgehammer To The War On Drugs': Oregon Decriminalizes Illegal Drugs "Approved by voters in November, the measure says the state will fine offenders and offer addiction treatment instead of prison time. By addressing drug use as a public health issue rather than a crime, this historic change takes 'a sledgehammer to the war on drugs,' says Kassandra Frederique, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance."


How New York Quietly Ended Its Street Drug War "New data analyzed by VICE News reveals a monumental drop in arrests and convictions for low level drug crime in NYC, as the city finally tries to disentangle itself from a war on drugs that it once led on the world stage."


Man Recommended for Prison Release Dies Waiting for Pennsylvania Governor’s Sign-Off "The Board of Pardons unanimously recommended Bruce Norris for a commutation in December, but Tom Wolf had yet to approve it.")


Columbus City Council Passes Legislation In Response To Fatal Police Shooting Of Andre Hill "A former Columbus, Ohio, police officer is indicted for shooting and killing a Black man last December. The death of Andre Hill prompted the Columbus City Council to unanimously pass Andre's Law."


Fourth Circuit Revives Lawsuit Filed by Driver Arrested for Not Giving ID "The appeals court found that sheriff’s deputies can’t arrest people for refusing to identify themselves if there is no reasonable suspicion for a stop."


What's the Anthony Fauci Effect? And Why Should Lawyers Pay Attention to It?  "Six attorneys were interviewed on their views on the effect the health pandemic could have on jurors once juries resume in the Nutmeg State."


Two significant new occupational licensing laws enacted in 2021 After 11 states enacted 19 laws limiting consideration of criminal records by occupational licensing agencies last year, the first significant record reforms of 2021 are occupational licensing laws enacted by Ohio and the District of Columbia. D.C.'s new law is particularly comprehensive, and applies both to health-related and other licensed professions in the District."


DNA Analysis "An appeals court in New Jersey ruled that a man should have access to the trade secrets of TrueAllele, a probabilistic genotyping software that was used to link his DNA to a murder and other crimes, finding that it is 'imperative' to afford a meaningful examination of the source code, which could contain bugs, glitches or defects."


Marijuana expungement accelerates in 2020 "Marijuana expungement reforms continued to accelerate last year, and record relief has now attained a more prominent role in the broader legalization movement. As we documented in our recent report on 2020 criminal record reforms, six states enacted specialized marijuana relief laws in 2020, following 7 states (and D.C.) that did so in 2019, and 4 states in 2018. This brings the total number of states with specialized marijuana expungement laws to 23." 




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